Saturday, February 23, 2013

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Foreign Film

The competition: Amour (Austria), Kon-Tiki (Norway), No (Chile), A Royal Affair (Denmark), War Witch (Canada)

Previous winners: A Separation (Iran), In a Better World (Denmark), The Secret in their Eyes (Argentina), Departures (Japan), The Counterfeiters (Austria), The Lives of Others (Germany)
My winner: Fill the Void
The facts: Historically, films nominated for Best Picture win this race – “Z,” “Life is Beautiful,” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” – but sometimes the most-nominated frontrunners, such as “Amelie” and “Pan’s Labyrinth,” have lost to other films in this category. Denmark has the best recent track record, with three wins out of eight previous nominations. Canada has won once out of seven previous nominations, and Austria has also won once, out of three previous nominations. This is the fifth nomination for Norway, and the first for Chile.
Who should win: I must admit that my screeners of “Kon-Tiki” and “War Witch” have gone unwatched, and though I hope to see them in the coming week, screening them before the ceremony is unlikely. I also missed “A Royal Affair,” which arrives on DVD on March 26th, while it was in theatres. That leaves “Amour,” a Best Picture nominee that I find to be good but somewhat underrated, and the Sundance entry “No,” which was well-done and more emotional than I had expected by its end. I’d be happy with either one winning.
Who will win: I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t go to Amour.

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